Guest Post, Vanessa from Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind: Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares

This week we’re visited by Vanessa of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, a blogger with a big reputation in the paleo community! Vanessa is known for taking cravings and making them a paleo reality. She successfully paleo-izes old favorites and creates new treats that quickly make us forget our non-paleo days of SAD indulgences.

Today Vanessa provides us with a treat that allows us to get in on all the pumpkin loving that is going on! This recipe would also make a great addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas spread, and is one that you are going to want to keep in your seasonal rotation. Check out these delicious Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares!


Well hello there Paleo Parents readers! It’s lovely to meet you. I’m here today to share two of my all time favorite things with you, pumpkin and dessert. It’s FINALLY Pumpkin Season! Group hug! I get so excited when it’s this time of year. It means boots, scarves, pumpkin spice and everything nice. I live in San Diego, which means I wear boots and scarves in 75-80 degree weather, but it’s cool, my office has air conditioning. I’m seriously one of those people who OD’s on the holidays. My house is decorated to the nines, I have my Christmas Pandora station on every waking second, and I get cute bow ties for my cats to wear when they take Santa pictures. What? Anyway the whole point of that is…it’s all happening, this is the beginning, the pumpkins are here and so is the start of the holiday season! So for now the ONLY ingredient I want to cook with is PUMPKIN! Oh sweet pumpkin


I’ve been following a Paleo lifestyle for a little over a year now and let’s be honest, if pumpkins weren’t Paleo I probably wouldn’t be either. I’m telling you guys I live for the stuff. Come January One, I hate it though. Ha! I make so many pumpkin things over the holidays and then get so sick of it I can’t stand it. And so help me God if anyone even mentions a pumpkin spice latte, I want to slit their throat. Wait this is a family blog, am I getting too violent already? Sorry, I’ll try my best to keep it PG, or is it just G? Help. I don’t get my own reference.

One thing I love about Paleo means I get to have my cake and eat it too…literally. Cheesecake that is! I’m a huge fan of eating cheesecake. However, a slight gluten intolerance and slight dairy allergy make it difficult. I’m intolerant of gluten in the fact that I get extremely bloated, irritable, moody, fatigued, lethargic and gassy (sexy!) when I eat it. When I eat dairy I have “seasonal allergy” symptoms…bad. I never even knew I was sensitive to dairy until I started eating Paleo. I omitted all dairy except for grass-fed butter and noticed I wasn’t popping Claritin like tic tacs anymore. I could probably clear up my occasional sniffles too if I got rid of the butter but it’s just too good and full of vitamins and wonderful stuff. And let’s face it, it’s like the best tasting stuff on earth next to chocolate. Oooh did someone say chocolate?! I told you I like desserts.


Speaking of desserts look what I made you guys! I was so proud of my pretty swirls. This recipe is fantastic and is honestly so simple. You just kind of throw it all together. This is also the 5th pumpkin flavored thing I’ve made this week. Don’t judge. So get out those measuring spoons, tie up those aprons and get it on with these Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares. (That wasn’t PG was it?)

Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares from Vanessa of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

Yield: 9 squares

Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares from Vanessa of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind



  1. Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor and grind them into fine meal. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined.
  2. Line the bottom of an 8x8 square glass pan with parchment paper, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.
  3. In a high-powered blender, process the raw cashews until they are blended. Then add the coconut oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Then add the zucchini, coconut crystals, salt, and lemon juice. For the lemon juice go by taste as not to overdo it with lemon flavor. Start by juicing 3/4 of the lemon, blending and tasting, and adding more. Add as needed to your preference then blend again until a super smooth and creamy batter is formed.
  4. Pour 2 cups of this plain batter into a separate cup and set aside. To the remaining plain batter add the pumpkin, the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cloves. Blend until smooth.
  5. Remove the crust from the freezer. Pour half of the pumpkin batter on the bottom. Then pour half of the plain batter over the pumpkin layer. Repeat this process twice or until you are out of batter. Using a butter knife gently swirl through the layers until you get neat swirl designs on top. Place back in the freezer to set for at least for hours or overnight. Let thaw about 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. Enjoy!


Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my blog so read it maybe?

Twitter: @cleandirtyeats
Instagram: vanessabarajas

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